In contrast to the zealots hope and the Reconstructionists’ dominating kingdom themes, the kingdom of Christ and its power shaping force has been found somewhere else. Power and dominion for the kingdom of Christ is based upon koinonial servitude and humility; the kind known between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the beginning the apostles of Jesus didn’t get this either, they believed (Acts 1) that, post-resurrection, the kingdom was now going to be established—in line with the zealots hope (the overthrow of Rome). But they were growing in understanding, and they came to understand the kingdom in the terms that Jesus had trajected in his cross, grave, resurrection, and ascension. Alan Lewis makes this point most saliently:
. . . At the time, not even the closest of disciples could tolerate or understand the thought of such a denouement to the ministry of Jesus. But faith’s perceptiveness came finally to see that his suffering, cross, and tomb were Christ’s glory and triumph, the very source and form of his rule and judgment of the world. It was in servitude that his Majesty consisted, in humiliation that his glory was revealed. And thus was authority, divine and human, wholly reconceived. Humanity’s future and history’s end days would be determined not by state hegemony or military clout, but by the imperceptible power of self abandoned love. Notwithstanding the ascendancy of Caesar, tomorrow’s world lay with one of Caesar’s crushed and vanquished victims. (Alan E. Lewis, “Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday,” 116)
The Church today would do well to remember the kind of kingdom Jesus has and will establish is in his blood. It is shaped by a theologia crucis (theology of the cross), and not by a theology of glory, that seeks a kingdom based upon a man conceived/constructed constitution shaped by self-love instead of God’s love. Sadly, in my estimation, the American evangelical church, in general, seeks a kingdom based upon the glory of man instead of the glory of the cross.